talking about science with an open heart

Fifteen years after its founding, the Coeur des Sciences of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) has never experienced such a high participation rate in its activities. With the pandemic, the center has become a reference for those thirsty for scientific news.

In the past year, the number of participants in the activities of the Coeur des Sciences has tripled from 20,000 to 60,000. Its activities, aimed at developing and promoting a scientific culture, are aimed both at the general public, than for secondary school students. ,

Its director, Stephen Chicks, believes the pandemic has been a growth opportunity for the center. The lectures provided an opportunity to answer people’s questions about the pandemic. , Suddenly, we were reaching not only people in Greater Montreal, but people all over Quebec. », she rejoices.

Professor Benoit Barbeau, from the Department of Biological Sciences at UQAM, has delivered a lecture on COVID-19. He popularized what a virus is to the general public, by explaining its mechanism of action using examples from everyday life. , It was difficult to know what a virus is […] so in [créant] Parallel to the conditions in which the population lives, this may facilitate understanding », he specifies.

In addition, on 13 May, the Cur des Sciences organized a guided tour of the laboratories of Benot Barbeau and his colleague Steve Bourgault, professor in the Department of Chemistry at UQAM. , We are trying to tell the high school students who want to pursue graduate study in Biomedical Science that UQAM is the best option. We try to show the population how we work “Advance Mr. Barbeau.

Anas Kerik, a doctoral student in biology at UQAM, participated in several conferences of the Coeur des Sciences. , I consider it an essential bridge between the scientific community and the general public to make science more accessible to everyone. », she admits. The student appreciates even more interaction between the public and the speakers at the end of the presentation, where it is possible to ask them questions.

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Stephen Chikes indicates that the center strives to be as original as possible, equipping the general public with scientific news. About 300 activities are held each year and their online conferences are all available to replay on Youtube.

Science Revelations for the Youngest

From rock types to plant species, including urban fauna, Montreal’s streets and green spaces are filled with scientific richness. The Coeur des Sciences invites you to search them through the city, led by master’s or doctoral students at UQAM.

The Coeur des Sciences also offers other scientific walks, called Sprints des Sciences, which are presented by videoconferencing. They are aimed at secondary school students.

Vanessa Di Maurizio, a master’s student in biology at UQAM, has been leading the sprint regarding plant and urban ecology since last September. , I would have loved to have a conference like this during my high school studies », she points out.

For Vanessa, taking her knowledge to young people aged 12 to 17 can help her step outside of her field of study. , When you work in a lab, you tend to think about something special, but when you run a sprint, it allows you to expand your area of ​​expertise. », says the student.

growing interest

This fall, the program saw a 20% increase in enrollment compared to the years 2020 and 2019, says Tatiana Skorza, director of the Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in Problem-Based Learning.

Hiba Kachiqach, a student starting her bachelor’s degree this winter, says that not long ago, she knew nothing about biology. The pandemic made him and like many others in his program, want to learn more. , During my course and my internship, I understood that microbiology is incredible. it’s parallel to our world and that’s what i like she shouts.

The enthusiasm for the activities of the Cur des Sciences has transferred to the university programs of UQAM. Popular belief sees the university as the second choice in the field of science, but for Stephen Chikes, it is nothing more than a myth.

Photo Mansion Manon Toughett | Montreal campus

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